English top six pulling away

Considering how often we are told the Premier League is the best, most competitive and most unpredictable league in the world, the table is starting to take on a strikingly unsurprising shape.

 

Only a difference of one goal that separates Burnley and Liverpool prevents the 'big six' teams occupying the top six spots, and few would bet on anyone else breaking into those positions by the end of the season.

The gigantic sums of money Premier League teams can now offer has improved the quality of players they can now attract, but the big six have a draw of their own.

An attempt to increase their share of the Premier League's television revenue they receive might have failed last month, but there is still little sign of the chasm between them and 'the rest' reducing any time soon.

While it is worth noting that United have not yet played any other of the big six sides, the manner of their and City's victories suggests such significant strength that many of their league games are starting to look like early-round FA Cup ties.

United's win over Crystal Palace this weekend was never, ever in doubt: it was the fourth time they have won 4-0 already this season, while City have won 5-0 twice so far and beat Watford 6-0 away from home.

Add to the mix Tottenham's resounding win at Huddersfield and Chelsea's rout at Stoke and there might even be a worry that the gap between the biggest sides and seventh place is widening.

The average margin by which City and United are winning matches this season is much higher than in any of the past two seasons, while Spurs and Chelsea have also maintained the gaps they have won by in previous campaigns.

Moreover, the margin by which all six of the 'big six' teams are winning this season is equal to or greater than their rates at the same stage of each of the past two seasons.

That is, the dominance of the Manchester clubs this season hasn't come at the expense of any other teams. Rather, the overall control of the Premier League that the top six sides boast has increased.

It may be that results level out a little over the course of the season but the fact remains that at this stage in previous seasons we have not seen such superiority.

The likes of Burnley and Watford are doing a decent job of bridging the gap between the 'big six' and 'the rest', but the divide only looks like getting larger.

The 'Big Four' of the 2000s threatened to take over the Premier League for years to come, but Spurs and City managed to break it. There may yet be another fairy-tale like Leicester's at some stage, but even the way they failed to follow up their title triumph served to show how difficult it now is for another team to establish themselves among the elite.

Everton's tilt at breaking the 'big six' this season has gone pretty pear-shaped, and there is little sign of anyone else making a real go of it any time soon. This really isn't the most unpredictable league in the world at all, is it?

Originally published by the Telegraph

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Login Form

ITPSocialButtons

Share this post

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn